Farmersville gas station murder case moves forward

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- On Thursday, Jahan Rajabali recounted what he saw happen inside Aztecs Gas Station & Liquor Store one afternoon last summer.

Jahan's father Nizam was the owner of the property, and Harbhajan Mundi was the manager of the store.

Mundi, reportedly upset with a rent increase, wanted out of his lease, so a meeting was arranged at the store to discuss the terms of a lease transfer with the new business partners.

Jahan testified that at one point, Mundi motioned for his father to leave the room they were in. After a few minutes, his father returned.

But Jahan says Mundi was holding a gun to the back of his father's head, so he lunged at Mundi and shots rang out.

"I'm screaming 'call 911, he killed my dad, he killed my dad. He shot my dad, he killed my dad. Call 911, call 911.' Everybody left the room and my dad's on the floor bleeding," Jahan said.

"Our contention is he didn't know right from wrong when he did this," said Tony Capozzi, Mundi's defense attorney and ABC30 legal analyst.

He says there's no question his client committed murder. But at the time of the shooting, he says his client was stressed, depressed, and believed his landlord was slowly killing him-financially and even physically.

"The big question is what was his state of mind at the time this happened," Capozzi said. "At the time of trial we will have a psychiatrist testify. The county will have a couple of psychologists testify. So it will come down to the state of mind of the defendant at the time of this incident."

Dr. Gary Walter testified that Nizam Rajabali died as a result of the gunshot wound to his stomach.

In his autopsy report, he listed a contributing factor as blunt force trauma to the head, and said the multiple lacerations could be consistent with the head of a hammer.

Before he was brought to the hospital, the elder Rajabali told Farmersville police officers that Mundi shot him and struck him on the head with a hammer.

The younger Rajabali says he used to be active, but because of the injuries to his foot, he's not anymore, adding that doctors say he may never fully recover from those injuries.

Mundi was also shot in the foot that day.

Thursday afternoon, Judge Gary Paden ruled that there is probable cause to believe Mundi murdered his landlord and tried to kill his son too.

He said the most damaging evidence at today's hearing was that Mundi had armed himself with a revolver before this meeting.
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